Saturday April 14th, I sat down to watch the Red Raiders take the field in their annual spring game at Jones AT&T Stadium. Unlike the other two games, being able to watch this one on TV was comforting as was the play on the field. Defense was flying around, forcing turnovers, making sure tackles, it was a thing of beauty. Though the receivers made some mistakes, I could see the talent and potential of the entire WR group. The offensive line did a great job of run blocking as both Da’Leon Ward and Tre King toted the rock for a couple touchdowns. Every position on the field looked strong and had me excited for this upcoming season. Every position except for the quarterback position.
McLane Carter was unimpressive as he was 11 of 19 for 139 yards. It seemed as though the plays called for Carter were limited to intermediate and short throws and getting the ball out to the playmakers. Duffey, being a playmaker himself, did what he’s done all spring which is show off his athleticism. Duffey was 11 of 15 and had a decent day until he made a bonehead errant toss up throw that landed into the hands of the defender.
That’s been the story for these two all spring long. It’s become a game of neither player playing well enough to earn the starting spot. Every time, it looks like one of them should be the starter, they make a mistake that takes away any notion that they can lead a Big 12 offense. Alan Bowman is also in this competition, and may actually have more talent than both Duffey and Carter, but Bowman is simply too young at this point and with him taking fewer snaps than the other two in each of the three scrimmages, it’s easy to see that he is far behind on the depth chart.
So where do we go from here? My guess is Kingsbury hopes and prays that one of them improves in the summer and earns the starting job. However, with Kingsbury heading into his sixth and most important season can he truly rely on a prayer that one of his inexperienced quarterbacks will just become better? Personally I don’t think that’s the right call. It’s time to take a page out of coach Chris Beard’s book and secure a graduate transfer quarterback.
Coach Beard and the Tech basketball team will be losing six players to the graduation and the draft and rather than use next year as a rebuilding year, Beard has been busy on the recruiting trail securing players that can play this upcoming season. Beard already got the transfer of CJ Roberts from Missouri who transferred just in time for him to play Janurary 2019. Not only that, but Tech received the commitment from Tariq Owens, who will virtually fill Zach Smith’s role from last year and it seems like there’s a good chance Tech gets the commitment of Matt Mooney to supplement the lost scoring from Keenan Evans’ departure. That is how you reload instead of rebuild. Where there was holes on the team, Beard went and plugged them, Kingsbury needs to do the same.
As bad as Tech needs a graduate transfer, Kingsbury may have already missed out. Shea Patterson, Wilton Speight, Brandon Dawkins, Jalan McClendon and Quinten Dormady have all left their power conference schools for better opportunities without any of them receiving even a phone call from Tech coaches. With the uncertainty at the position, it is pertinent that Kingsbury needs to find another body to put in the QB room to either push the guys we currently have or outright take the job. Because as of right now, the QB position has turned out to be the biggest question mark.
Possible immediate transfer options
- Joe Burrow
Burrow had been biding his time behind J.T. Barrett at Ohio State waiting for his time to step into the sunlight, but unfortunately an injury last season pushed him down the totem pole and now he’s unlikely the win the starting quarterback position this year. Burrow is a dynamic QB,was a four-star recruit out of high school and would be highly coveted if he chose to transfer. Burrow would instantly make Tech an improved team.
- Malik Henry
The last time Tech got a player from Last Chance U, it worked out pretty good in Dakota Allen. This time around, the player could be Malik Henry. Though not a graduate transfer, Henry played at Independence Community College this past year and will be able to transfer and play immediately. Henry will be featured in this upcoming season of Last Chance U and the show will document his experience as a top 100 prospect that committed to Florida State and then transferred to ICC. Henry’s stats weren’t too impressive at ICC, as he had multiple games where he completed less than half of his passes, but he is still a dynamic player that oozes talent.
- Jalen Hurts
One of the worst kept secrets in college football was revealed recently when it was announced that Jalen Hurts will transfer if he loses his starting spot at Alabama.
Jalen Hurts is likely to transfer from Alabama if he doesn't win the starting QB job. His dad says he'll become "the biggest free agent in college football history.” https://t.co/pFf450ua9p pic.twitter.com/vLjGcEdMfk— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 19, 2018
Let’s be honest here, Hurts isn’t going to win that job. Tua Tagovailoa has been out all spring due to a finger injury, yet even with no competition, Hurts still can’t seem to win the job. Alabama’s spring game made it even more difficult for Hurts’ supporters to back him as he struggled and had worse stats than third-string Mac Jones. With all that being said, Tech would be extremely lucky to have an athlete of Hurts’ caliber. Hurts is faster, stronger, and more athletic than Duffey and doesn’t make the immature mistakes. Hurts also has championship pedigree and knows what it takes to win. Being from Channelview, Texas, Hurts may take the opportunity to come back to his home state and learn from a head coach that has gotten four (could be five) QBs recently in the NFL. Bigger problem for Kingsbury is that Hurts has only been at Alabama for two years and it’s unlikely that he’d finish his undergraduate degree by August. That being said, you never know what can be worked out.